Aix-en-Provence

Rejuvenate in Aix

I originally mentioned Thermes Sextius Spa in a post about a year and a half ago (time flies!) and have been meaning to do a review ever since.  Well here it is.

It was a hot August day and we had been walking around the incredible, alluring streets of Aix for hours when we stumbled upon Thermes Sextius. We couldn’t have asked for a better surprise. We debated spending the extra money, but really the price was quite reasonable at around 60 Euros per person for access to so many relaxing treatments for an entire day.  It was kind of like a European spa amusement park, but in the best way. Picture going from one rejuvenating treatment to the next minus any lines or crowds, repeating your favorites as many times as you like, and spending as many or as few minutes on each treatment. I spent about 3 hours rotating between the following: steam room, authentic Finnish sauna, tropical and marine rain showers, hot bath, cold bath, outdoor mineral spring pool, and lounging in the gardens. 3 words: heaven on earth.

The Thermes Sextius spring water, which is highly rich in minerals and trace elements, is used in all the hydrotherapy treatments. These medicinal waters promote overall healing of the body including circulation stimulation and tissue drainage.

Thermius-outside1

Thermius-outside

Thermius1   Thermes Sextius is built on the site of actual ancient Roman thermae. Traces of an ancient thermal pool are visible at the entrance.

Thermius2Entering the area for the outdoor mineral pool & gardens.

Thermius3

Thermius5

Thermes-gardens

During a week of nonstop traveling between Evian, Aix and Paris, these few hours were exactly what I needed half way through the trip to completely relax and rejuvenate. If you are ever in the South of France, I highly recommend visiting Aix-en-Provence and if you visit Aix then you must, must, must spend a few hours at this ancient healing oasis.

J’aime la France

I can’t believe it’s already been a month since I was in France. It was such a perfect first trip. In exactly one week we were able to see three totally different places –  Evian, Aix-en-Provence, and Paris.

First up was Evian for one of my best friend’s wedding. We’ve been friends since we were five so of course I had to go to France to see her as a beautiful bride.

We flew into Geneva and took the ferry from Switzerland over to France (amazing how easy it is going country to country). The very first thing we did (before we even checked in) was have café on the dock of our hotel.

We looked out towards Switzerland as we soaked in the fact that we were finally in France. So breathtakingly beautiful.

Looking back at our hotel (Les Cygnes) from the dock — it was truly RIGHT on Lake Geneva.

The wedding location –Hotel Royal in Evian overlooking Lake Geneva…

…with the French Alps in the background.

Sunset over Lake Geneva.

****

Next was Aix-en-Provence…

The city was founded in 123 BC.

Our first meal in Aix– a seriously legit Salad Niçoise.

Lots of lovely soap at the market :)

An incredibly relaxing afternoon at Thermes Sextius in Aix-en-Provence (a full review coming soon)

***

And then there was Paris…

Beautiful buildings like this everywhere you look.

Loved seeing this — a store closed until August 25th for very good reason :)

So cool to finally see this iconic structure in person.

Our view as we picnicked in the Luxembourg Gardens.

Another beautiful spot in the Gardens.

Bumped into Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) & her husband, Jeffrey, right outside our hotel!

In tea-smelling heaven at MARIAGE FRERES in the Louvre.

The Eiffel Tower from another angle.. hard not to keep snapping pics.

I can’t wait to go back.